art news & reviews & Interviews. jeff bergman, editor

144 – Biography & History & Posterity

nattate.jpg4 very brief things:

1) Anne Truitt’s Daybook is a great resource and a salve to my tired mind.  Her words are inspiring and restorative.  I am reading a new Kindle edition that has Turn and Prospect added on.  I recommend it.

2) I have long loved Sol LeWitt’s art.  I have just recently started culling quotes and outlining an article length piece called LeWitt on LeWitt.  It’s in an embryonic state and I will happily take any and all help I can get.

3) Walid Raad’s retrospective at MoMA closes Sunday and I recommend you go see it.  His work, introduced to me 20 years ago when he was briefly my teacher, is a complicated and sometimes confounding lesson in the intersections of biography and manufactured history.  Raad constructs narratives and lets us choose to believe or deny.  It forces a critical reading of history, biography and authorship.

4) Writer William Boyd concocted a story about an artist named Nat Tate, which was offered as a biography with no real hint of it being a work of fiction. David Bowie and Gore Vidal were in on the joke and wrote dust jacket blurbs to sell the farce in the late 90’s.  I am revisiting Nat Tate as I think about the creation of biography, real or imagined.  It’s worth a read.

-Jeff Bergman
January 2016

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